July 19, 2021 – In a major announcement this morning, Paleo Wins the Kennerspiel des Jahres 2021. The Kennerspiel is the strategy board game of the year, and winning it is reserved for only the best titles that are incredibly innovative and robust.
According to the jury, the reason is “Paleo” succeeds in an extraordinary way in creating dynamic stories and images in the heads of the group that resonate long after the game is over. In the tough struggle for survival, we learn that we are only strong as a group. The multitude of different events keeps our curiosity about many games permanently upright and rewards the exploration of this gripping and unyielding Stone Age world.
This is a bit of an upset as Lost Ruins of Arnak (the other nominee along with Fantastic Realms) was heavily favored to win. This poll over at board game site Board Game Atlas showed that game with 81% of the vote. Though people thought it might go a different way, Paleo is still a very respected title and this is another solid winner to add to the list of this award that only started a few years ago.
The is an offshoot of the Spiel des Jahres which is the most prestigious board game award in the world and dates back to 1979. You can check out the full list of winners and nominees from over the years here. The Kennerspiel des Jahres was created in This is a spinoff of the Spiel des Jahres, the best board game of the year, but is more about strategy games and was created in 2011 when there were just too many awards to lock into one category.
Past winners of the Kennerspiel are -(2011) 7 Wonders, (2012) Village, (2013) Legends of Andor, (2014) Istanbul, (2015) Broom Service, (2016) Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, (2017) Exit: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin, (2018) The Quacks of Quedlinburg, (2019) Wingspan, (2020) The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine
The awards are usually tied to Spiel, one of the biggest gaming trade shows of the year, but given the weird pandemic world we are living in, things are a bit different. You can see on the list of 2021 board game conventions, that dates are all screwed up. At least we will still get the award.
The nominees for this year were originally announced on May 17, 2021.
About Kennerspiel des Jahres 2021 Winner – PALEO
Life in the Stone Age must have been tough. In case of doubt, an aggressive wild animal can lurk behind every bush with delicious berries. We have to find out for ourselves whether the berries found are edible or poisonous, even without the attack of a boar. Together, as a tribe, we weigh such risks round by round using only the illustrations on the back of the card. Only after turning the card over does it reveal what is happening at the selected location. Together we grow with these tasks. When the day in “Paleo” draws to a close, the tribe must be supplied with food in order to hold their own against the game. Ten card sets with new challenges can be combined as desired and offer motivating variety to take on the hard struggle for survival again and again.